Roma sporting director Monchi said that Mohamed Salah’s value doubled following the summer transfers of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and that he could do nothing to prevent the Egyptian’s sale to Liverpool.
Salah has enjoyed an outstanding first season back in the Premier League with his goal against Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday taking him to 30 so far for Liverpool. That form has upset many Roma fans, who have questioned why he was sold in the summer, but Monchi said Financial Fair Play sanctions meant he had his hands tied.
Still, they were able to hold out long enough that big-money transfers elsewhere saw Salah’s price rise — even if he still feels the winger is worth more.
“In the end, with bonuses, we got €50 million for him, which is a figure I don’t feel is the best for him right now,” Monchi told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s still double what their first offer was, and at the time we needed to sell and he already had an agreement with Liverpool, so we couldn’t do anything else.
“Then there was the transfers of Neymar and Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain, who had slightly altered the prices on the transfer market.”
Earning so much from the sale of one player lessened Roma’s financial burden and, ultimately, it may have contributed to them holding on to Edin Dzeko this winter when Chelsea made a bid for the Bosnian.
Although Roma still have some FFP restrictions to follow, the sale of Emerson Palmieri to Chelsea was enough for them to balance the books this winter without being forced into a similar must-sell situation with Dzeko.
“We had started talking with Chelsea about Emerson and then they asked us about Edin,” Monchi said. “We told them to make an offer and we would consider it. Chelsea never offered what we were asking for, though, and Dzeko didn’t reach an agreement with them either.
“We were not 100 percent convinced about selling Dzeko, but if he had gone, we would have brought in a replacement. [Olivier] Giroud was a serious option, as was [Michy] Batshuayi.”
That is not to say Monchi and coach Eusebio Di Francesco do not believe in summer signings Patrik Schick and Gregoire Defrel, who he said were not overpriced.
“We have faith in [Schick] and in Defrel,” he said. “Sometimes the figures I see reported are not accurate. So far, we’ve only spent €6 million on Schick and €5 million on Defrel and these were transfers which were good for us and we can soak up the cost of them.”